Shoulder-to-Shoulder is an interfaith organization dedicated to ending anti-Muslim sentiment by strengthening the voice of freedom and peace. Founded in November 2010 by over 20 national religious groups, Shoulder-to-Shoulder works not only on a national level, but offers strategies and support to local and regional efforts to address anti-Muslim sentiment and seeks to spread the word abroad.


By the summer of 2010, prejudice against Muslims had reached unprecedented intensity.  Controversy raged over the decision to build a Muslim community center a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York City and threats to burn the Book of Qur’an in Florida continued to fill the stories of major media outlets.

In response, nearly 40 senior religious leaders convened at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on September 7th, 2010 for an emergency interfaith summit to challenge the recent increase in anti-Muslim sentiment and rhetoric.  They released a powerful joint statement to stand in solidarity with their Muslim fellow Americans and held a press conference that was broadcast live by C-SPAN and CNN, covered by multiple national and international media outlets, and attended by White House staff. In order to continue the successful work of that event, Shoulder-to-Shoulder emerged as a coalition of national religious organizations dedicated to ending anti-Muslim sentiment forever.

Read the full text of the September 7th, 2010 Press Statement.

Steering Committee

  • American Baptist Churches USA
  • The Arab American Institute
  • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Christian Reformed Church of North America
  • Church of the Brethren
  • Church World Service
  • Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
  • The Episcopal Church
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Faith in Public Life
  • Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
  • General Board of Church and Society
  • Interfaith Alliance
  • Islamic Society of North America
  • Jewish Council on Public Affairs
  • Jewish Theological Seminary
  • National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA
  • National Religious Campaign Against Torture
  • New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
  • Peace Catalyst International
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • Progressive National Baptist Convention
  • Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
  • Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
  • Sisters of Mercy
  • Sojourners
  • T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
  • Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
  • United Church of Christ
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Universal Muslim Association Of America

The Shoulder-to-Shoulder Mission

Beginning at the Grassroots

  • Helping people get involved in their own communities by connecting people and initiatives to one another, and keeping local representatives up to date on new research, data, and trends.
  • Sharing ideas for starting community initiatives to address anti-Muslim sentiment by maintaining an archive of past events.
  • Offering resources materials in a comprehensive online library that includes worship materials, educational curricula, videos, and more.

National Advocacy

  • Providing senior religious leaders with opportunities to speak to the U.S. public together about the need to end anti-Muslim bigotry.
  • Urging each faith group to prioritize ending anti-Muslim sentiment by encouraging their regional bodies and congregations to engage in this work, discussing the issue of anti-Muslim bigotry at their annual meetings, and seeking press coverage of their efforts on the issue.
  • Working with Congress to explore ways to end anti-Muslim sentiment.
  • Working closely with White House staff.
  • Implementing a comprehensive press strategy that will include editorial board meetings with key newspapers and placing op-eds by senior religious leaders in newspapers across the nation.

Expanding to the Global Community

  • Sharing our message with the Muslim world and the international community as a whole, to make it known that religious communities in the United States are committed to ending anti-Muslim bigotry.


Meet our Campaign Director: Catherine Orsborn

Catherine OrsbornCatherine Orsborn is the Campaign Director of Shoulder to Shoulder, a national campaign of religious and interfaith organizations dedicated to ending anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States and around the world.

Catherine offers strategies and support to regional and local efforts combatting discrimination against the Muslim faith and seeks to present a new story of interfaith engagement and solidarity that focuses on positive relationships across faith lines.

Prior her current role at the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, Catherine led the Social Justice Community at the University of Denver while working on her doctoral studies in religion, conflict and peace. She also worked as a researcher at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, examining the interactions between religion and peacebuilding in deeply divided societies.

Catherine received her undergraduate degree from Asbury University in Kentucky, holds a masters in Religious Studies from the University of Denver and is currently writing her dissertation to complete her doctorate in Religion and Social Change.